Wondering what writer/creator Chris Roberson was up to after leaving DC Comics earlier this year? Wonder no longer, as he lifted the veil, so to speak, on Monkeybrain Comics, his new independent comic book company, in a press conference held earlier today. And the line-up is pretty huge, including Fables creator Bill Willingham, comic book power couple Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, and a bunch more of the usual suspects.
In fact, as we found on the call, there are over thirty projects in development - with more to be announced at San Diego Comic-Con. In addition, the books are - at the moment - digital only, so creators are free to anything they want with the properties in print. "Our goal is to satisfy the creators, and the retailers," said Roberson. The goal is to do print down the line, but Roberson stated he wants to do it in a way that isn't, "financially punishing for anyone."
Roberson also added that him leaving DC had nothing to do with Monkeybrain... The deal with Comixology was in the works well before the "proverbial straw that broke the camel's back," said Roberson. If anything, Roberson stated that he was looking to make more of a digital Image Comics, using their print model and applying it to the online age. "One thing we're going to be doing is not wasting everyone's time until they can actually download the comic," said Roberson, referring to the idea that unlike print comics, they won't be "soliciting" until something is ready for sale.
Talking about price point, Roberson said that most books would be either 99 cents, or $1.99. We asked Roberson to elaborate, to which he said, "iTunes requires everything to be in increments of 99 cents... It's really just a question of how long it is, how many people are involved. We do use standard comic length as a yard stick. If it is standard comic length, it's $1.99. Shorter, and it starts to go towards 99 cents." He added that they may work on something longer going forward, and would work out the price point for those, then.
Next, we asked whether Monkeybrain would be experimenting with digital forms, particularly as the teaser art you can see below is formatted as a pretty standard page. "It's constructed to read as a full page, but also so you can read panel by panel on the phone," said Roberson about his own comic, Edison Rex. He added that most books were working that way - looking to print first, then working backwards to digital; though some of the second wave would be working with more digital structures, including a comic Roberson himself would be announcing at SDCC.
Rather than blabber on about it ourselves, though, here's the official release with info... And a TON of original art for you to peruse. Monkeybrain officially launches online today at 2:30pm ET at http://monkeybraincomics.com/:
MONKEYBRAIN AND COMIXOLOGY ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION AGGREEMENT FOR
MONKEYBRAIN’S NEW LINE OF INDEPENDENT CREATOR-OWNED COMICS
CELEBRATE INDEPENDENTS DAY!
New York Times Bestselling Author Chris Roberson to Head Up New Comic Book Publishing Imprint with Co-Publisher Allison Baker
New York Times bestselling comic book creator Chris Roberson is celebrating “Independents Day” a little differently than others this year as he and co-publisher Allison Baker launch MonkeyBrain Comics, with a slate of creator-owned titles from some of the top names in the field. MonkeyBrain Comics will debut digitally first on comiXology — the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic and graphic novel downloads to date —through a exclusive distribution agreement between the two companies.
Joining New York Times bestselling author Chris Roberson (iZombie, Memorial, Cinderella) under the Monkeybrain Comics umbrella with their own independent titles will be a who’s who line up of creators, including; Grace Allison, Nick Brokenshire, J. Bone, Chad Bowers, Wook-Jin Clark, Colleen Coover, Kevin Church, Dennis Culver, Matt Digges, Ming Doyle, Curt O. Franklin, Ken Garing, Chris Haley, David Hahn, Phil Hester, Joe Keatinge, D.J. Kirkbride, Adam Knave, Axel Medellin, Jennifer L. Meyer, Michael Montenat, Ananth Panagariya, Thomas Perkins, Adam Rosenlund, Chris Schweitzer, Brandon Seifert, Chris Sims, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Tobin, J. Torres, Josh Williamson and Bill Willingham, among others.
More creative teams with new titles will be announced next week at Comic-Con International during the Monkeybrain Comics panel on Friday, July 13th at 7PM.
“MonkeyBrain Comics was born out of a desire to directly explore what opportunities there were in the newly expanding digital marketplace for creator owned material,” said Chris Roberson, co-publisher of Monkeybrain Comics. “We knew from the get go that we’d want to work exclusively with comiXology, who have become the undisputed leader in the digital comics field with their platforms’ unparalleled reading and shopping experience. And we’re pleased to have so many of our close creator friends along for the ride. I can’t wait to see what fans around the world think about our first batch of releases!”
“We’re excited to be the exclusive digital home of MonkeyBrain Comics,” says co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “ComiXology’s mission is to get comics into the hands of people everywhere and we look forward to doing just that with Chris and Allison’s stellar line of creator owned comics!”
Available exclusively worldwide via comiXology’s digital platform across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and the Web starting July 4th, the initial Monkey Brain Launch titles are:
- Aesop’s Ark by J. Torres and Jennifer L. Meyer
- Amelia Cole and the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave, DJ Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire
- Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
- Edison Rex by Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver
- October Girl by Matthew Dow Smith
MonkeyBrain Comics is a new comics imprint of Roberson and Baker’s long-running publishing company MonkeyBrain Books. Over the past decade, MonkeyBrain Books has published a line of prose novels by authors such as Phillip Jose Farmer, Michael Moorcock, Rudy Rucker, Paul Cornell and genre collections edited by such notables as Joe R. Lansdale, Lou Anders and others.
Launching their first titles on July 4th with the slogan “Independents Day” exclusively on the comiXology digital platform, Monkeybrain Comics are currently exploring following up their digital releases with trade paperback collections.